State health officials are warning consumers to avoid eating raw clover sprouts from Idaho producer Evergreen Fresh Sprouts, which has been linked to an outbreak of E. coli cases.
Two cases of E. coli have been reported in King County and five have been reported in Spokane County. An additional three cases were reported in Kootenai County, Idaho, according to the Washington State Department of Health. Five people have been hospitalized.
An initial investigation indicates a strong link to sprouts eaten in sandwiches at Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches locations in King and Spokane counties. The restaurants where the E. coli patients reported eating raw clover sprouts have voluntarily stopped serving sprouts.
Evergreen Fresh Sprouts also distributed sprouts around the Northwest to other restaurants and grocery stores. The state health department is advising consumers to not eat the raw clover sprouts until further notice.
E. coli can cause bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, and vomiting. Symptoms often begin with mild stomach pain or non-bloody diarrhea that worsens over several days, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can sometimes result in severe, life-threatening illness and may be fatal.
Anyone who thinks they may have become ill from eating contaminated sprouts should consult a health care provider, the health department said.